Be patient and answer these questions before you think all of this annoying barking is just common for your dog and your family. This can set you on the path to a quieter home and a happier dog.
Your dog has different methods of communicating with you. Beyond body language – hello, bow and tail wag – your dog can also use more verbal ways of telling you what he wants. And while all dogs bark there are some dogs who bark… and bark… and bark. If you have a mute dog that barks excessively, it can quickly drive you (and your neighbors) mad. Before you think that all of this annoying barking is just common for your dog and family, take some time to answer these questions that could set you on the path to a quieter home and a happier dog.
Do you have a barking breed? Some breeds of dogs are inclined to leave barking. For example, if you have almost any breed of hound, your dog may bumble a lot simply because it is in its bloodline. While you can still reduce the amount of extra barking that your vocally resistant dog makes, you could have an extra learning curve if you’re at home a hound.
Is your dog busy enough? A bored dog is never a good thing as he will find things to keep him busy and generally those things are not exactly the most productive or the most consistent. Unwanted behaviors such as digging, chewing, scratching and additional barking are the way your dog burns extra energy. The best way to combat this symptom of nuisance barking is to: Your dog has a lot of different rewards from a simple walk: he gets to spend time with you, he gets to smell and figure out what’s been happening in the neighborhood, he gets physical exercise and he also works out his brain. If you decide to avoid walks with your dog because he pulls, barks, charges or has other habits that make you feel uncomfortable, don’t write off walks completely. Our trainers can teach your dog a safe manner and you will be able to enjoy walks together and burn off some extra energy.
If you find that a regular walk or two is not enough for your dog or if the weather is too cold or too hot for your usual mileage is another great way to use extra energy productively. When you practice or learn commands, your dog is actively engaging with you and concentrating hard. This combination is certain to eliminate extra energy from your dog that may reduce his extra naughty barking.
Do you praise the noise? Take a moment to examine how you and your family respond to barking the next time your dog enters a barking disproportion. If your dog receives additional attention (whether positive or negative) when he makes a lot of noise he will continue to do so. Instead of screaming for him to stop or simply doing whatever he wants you to do, try to respond with a quieter and calmer approach. Ignoring the bark of your dog will show him that his sound leads him nowhere. Give him a bit of positive attention and affection if he settles down. Continue this enough for long enough and he will quickly get the message that bumbling doesn’t get him attention from his humans.
Are you preparing him for it? If your dog is a protector, chances are he will bark at everything that comes near your family yard. They are all territories, invaders, to your dog and he must bark to let them know to get a move on. If your dog is constantly patrolling at the window and barking at anything and everyone coming by, remove your dog’s chance to notice it. Pull the shades, close the curtains, or place a piece of furniture in his usual spot. If he can’t see the ‘intruders’ in the first place, he won’t be tempted to run a storm up.
Is he scared? Barking can convey various needs or emotions including anxiety, confusion or fear. If you discover that your dog barks when you leave work or return home or if your dog barks at any visitor in your house, it could be that he just needs a little more socialization. Dogs are social animals and often receive benefits from being around other dogs and people. A lonely dog who spends most of the day in a kennel or empty house can forget what it is like to be around strangers or other animals.
Are you giving him something else to focus on? Many times excessive barking can reduce simply by giving your dog something else to focus on when barking begins. For example, placing your dog in a place command gives your dog something else to focus on rather than FedEx men coming up the driveway. With a well-timed command, you could be pleasantly surprised by the results.
Barking can be irritating and can bring the entire household on edge. But don’t even think you need to lose hope and invest in an earplug yet. Dogs of any age and of any breed can learn to behave in the right techniques and instruction and learn better manners and behaviour.